During the festive season, food is a pleasure to be enjoyed with family, friends and relatives with whom you finally get to share time, and even ‘the table’ itself remains among the most intimate gestures you can make. Because sharing food has always been an indispensable ritual.

But after the days spent amidst laid tables and succulent libations, who among us has never thought ‘from tomorrow, soup?’

Here, without going to the excesses of a diet broth that then does little to fill the belly and even less to gratify the mind, you can think of something equally tasty and even combinations of foods that together have a synergistic effect in weight loss such as cold meats and fruit.

Expert advice comes from Dr Elisabetta Bernardi, a nutritionist biologist who is involved in nutritional education, nutrition for sport, and also in science.

“Fibre-rich foods help you feel full for longer. Fruits such as kiwifruit and apples are rich in this nutrient, which is fundamental not only for intestinal regularity, but also for protection against heart and intestinal diseases, and for regulating weight loss thanks to the sense of satiety they give. Cold cuts can also contribute to this last action. In order to digest food, our body has to expend energy. But how much of it does it expend? Let’s take, the main nutrient in cold cuts, protein. Protein, like carbohydrates, provides 4 kilocalories per gram, but some of the calories derived from protein are lost as heat when they are metabolised by the body. Only 2% of energy is lost to digest fats, 8% to carbohydrates, and as much as 20-30% to proteins! Protein requires much more energy to metabolise than fats and carbohydrates. This means that 100 calories from a salami such as cooked ham, prosciutto crudo deprived of fat, and bresaola (calories that are thus derived almost entirely from protein) on balance correspond to about 75 kcal. To this must be added the effect on satiety’.

We can therefore calmly face the ‘after festive season’ with foods such as fruit and cold cuts that combine health, fitness and taste without suffering ‘food penance’ of any kind!